Surf lifesavers have today issued a plea for beachgoers to stop and think before they enter the water. Recent tragedies this summer (since 1 December 2018) have surf lifesavers around the country on edge.
The 2017-18 summer was the worst on record for coastal locations in the past 14 years with 52 coastal drowning deaths (1 December 2017 – 28 February 2018). This is the busiest time on Australian beaches with more than 300 million visitations across Australia’s 11,500 beaches.
Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) is urging all visitors to the coast to assist in reducing this drowning toll.
“Our message is clear – when visiting coastal areas this summer stop, look and plan before entering the water to make sure you and your family are safe these holidays,” said SLSA CEO, Adam Weir.
“It is important for all coastal visitors is to understand where they are going and the potential risks at those locations. Far too often our surf lifesavers are involved in these tragic situations, which are more often than not, preventable.”
SLSA recently launched its summer safety campaign with a focus to rip current related drowning deaths. The campaign however has a far more reaching message which can be applied to all aquatic locations and activity.
“The ‘Think Line’ is a reminder to all coastal and aquatic users to stop and think before entering the water.
“Take a few moments to just check where you are, check if there rips , look for other hazards such as large waves or rocks, and have a plan.
“But our core message is always to find a patrolled beach because the red and yellow flags mark the safest place to swim. By simply stopping to take two to three minutes could save your life.”
For the latest safety information – including patrolled beach locations – visit beachsafe.org.au